After more than 50 years, Ochs Center closing its doors in Chattanooga

Ken Chilton
Ken Chilton
photo Former publisher of the Chattanooga Times and local philanthropist Ruth Holmberg makes a few remarks at a ceremony in the newly-named Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies on McCallie Avenue in this file photo. The center was named for Ms. Holmberg's grandfather Adolph Ochs who purchased the Chattanooga Times and the New York Times in the late-1800's. The Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies is an institute for research and analysis of data about census information, polls, surveys and other studies.

As of today, the Ochs Center will no longer be researching the Chattanooga region, officials with the center say.

The more than 50 year old research institute, known for its probing reports on health, education, housing and violence will be closing it doors because it can no longer afford to stay open, officials say.

As more data became available online and local foundations changed their funding priorities, the center struggled to find a way to sustain its efforts.

"It is a sad day for Chattanooga," said Ken Chilton, who headed Ochs for two years. "Every city needs that depository of knowledge and information and analysis of data to make good policy."

A note on the Ochs Center's website says that employees that once worked for Ochs will still be available to help community organizations with data analysis as independent consultants.

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